This is a second year tick, bigger than a first year one and this one has fed and is about to drop off, like a small seedless grape. They drop off after around 10-14 days, when full of your pet's blood! Ticks live for 2 years and feed once per year before laying eggs and dying. They must have blood meal from a mammal (although some will affect birds, especially reared pheasants)
If your dog goes hill walking, you will have seen ticks. A tick must feed from a mammal each of the two years it lives, but they are not fussy who that is, so we see them occasionally on dogs and cats. If you take your dog to a ticky area - Tentsmuir, up the Glens, or the West coast, then you should use an application that will repel and kill these, like the topical vet-only liquid we recommend, which also constantly protects against fleas as well as repelling biting flies. BUT only for DOGS, not for cats! It is by far the best product on the market for ticks. Not only does it kill them, but if repels most. It does this biting flies too, so good if you take your dog with you to hotter countries.
Ticks can cause illnesses )Lyme Disease mainly), but rarely in dogs and humans in this country, but it is possible. The reaction caused by their presence can annoy dogs and make them scratch. Occasionally a tick bite can become infected and antibiotics are necessary. The main thing is to detach them asap! Use tweezers, holding them at the skin, not their body (it bursts) or preferably use special tick removers. Hold them at the skin level and pluck them off, like plucking a hair.With a tick remover , you need to twist as you pull. Killing them with cigarettes, alcohol etc leaves you with a dead tick stuck to your pet as they do not "hold on", they cement their mouthparts into the skin. When full, an enzyme they produce dissolves this cement and they drop off. They cannot jump and move very slowly and can only get on to your pet if your pet rubs against the blade of grass on which they are sitting, waving their legs in the hope of a snack. It is deer who spread ticks mostly, rather than sheep, in our area. Even if treated, you may see an occasional live tick on your pet if they have been in a very ticky area.
A new preparation in the form of a neck band, worn all the time and has a unique drug delivery system which spreads all over the dog or cat and this protects against fleas as well as killing and repelling ticks. Swimming does not affect it and the band will remain effective for 7-8 months! Expensive initially but cheaper in the long run. Call for details or ask in-surgery. Because this is vet-only, we can't advertise it here.
Ticks and flea protection is included for your dog all-year-round, with the Parkside VIP Health Care Plan.
Read all about parasites in general with David Bellamy, on the Bayer web site, HERE
REMINDERS: If you need to be reminded when to apply the next treatment/prevention for your dog or cat, update your mobile number when you buy your next dose/pack at a Parkside surgery and thereafter you will receive a text when the next dose is due! Alternatively, use the on-line form HERE.